When hypothesis becomes myth: The Iraqi origin of the Iraqw
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Original versionRekdal, O. B. (1998). When hypothesis becomes myth: The Iraqi origin of the Iraqw. Ethnology, 37(1), 17-38.
The now-rejected Hamitic hypothesis, depicting Caucasoid peoples from the north as responsible for a number of precolonial cultural and technological achievements in Africa, served to legitimize European intervention and colonization on the continent, This article discusses how the Hamitic hypothesis was modified and revived as the origin myth of the Iraqw of Tanzania, Written sources and the oralization of written sources have significantly promoted the current widespread recognition among the Iraqw that they originated in Iraq or Mesopotamia.